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search and rescue north receives donation from missing hiker’s sister


The sister of Gene George, the Ohio man who was the subject of an extensive four-day search on Mt. Columbia and Mt. Harvard in September, has donated five thousand dollars to the Search and Rescue North team’s rescue fund.  The woman, Linda Petrigac, of Willoughby, Ohio wrote in the letter accompanying the funds, “I truly appreciate all that you did in searching for Gene George and admire your dedication to your work.”

The missing hiker was last heard from Wednesday, September 18 when he spoke by telephone with his girlfriend in Cleveland.  Authorities believe Mr. George hiked to the summit of Mount Columbia the following day and that he reached the summit of Mount Harvard on Friday, September 20.  He was reported missing two days later when he failed to check out of his motel room as scheduled.   A search mission was begun the same day after Mr. George’s car was discovered parked and locked at the North Cottonwood Creek trailhead. 

Search efforts over the four days involved over one hundred volunteers from seven counties, three helicopters, one fixed wing aircraft, several dog teams, two horseback teams, two mules, and numerous items of specialized equipment.  Despite the effort, no trace of the man has been found to date.